Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Revisiting Enya's Reverberations

As I drove around town today, I was listening to an old (1991) CD by Enya, the Irish singer and composer, whose work I have overlooked in recent years. I found the songs calming and beautifully haunting. Their magic unfolds with an unhurried ease.

The "Shepherd Moons" album remains a classic if you like dreamy music that wafts you along slowly with "ethereal reverberations." This last phrase is courtesy of Wikipedia, which tells me how successful Enya has been, that she lives in a home called Manderley Castle (which we almost glimpsed as we were driving out of Dublin six years ago toward the Wicklow Hills), Manderley as in "Rebecca," of course, which begins, famously, "Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again."

The Wiki article compares Enya to Sissel, the Norwegian singer who seems to me a stronger vocalist, but it's hard to tell what Enya really sounds like, given the electronic reverberations in which her whispered melodies are concocted.

I am sounding critical perhaps because it's a life-long habit when, in fact, my point is to praise this album's memorable songs--especially "Marble Halls," "Caribbean Moon," and the best of all, "How Can I keep from Singing?" To listen to these is to be taken out of oneself (often desirable) and transported out of the present with its anxieties to some romantic-poetic neverland that evokes the world of "The Lady of Shalott."

Seems only appropriate for a singer who owns Manderley Castle--and for me after several weeks of reading and thinking about dreams.

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